Low back pain
Best bets: Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), ASA (Aspirin, Bufferin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Ice and stretching can also be effective for acute lower back pain. “Bed rest used to be suggested, but most experts do not recommend this now,” says Knight. See your family doctor if back pain lasts more than a few days.
Best bets: Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and ASA (Aspirin, Bufferin). Also good: acetaminophen (Tylenol). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and ASA, but NOT Tylenol), decrease production of pain-triggering prostaglandins.
Start low and go slow: Take just what you need for relief. Daily or frequent use of pain medications, as well as their misuse or
overuse, can cause rebound headaches. Also, avoid taking more than one type of NSAID at a time, since
multiple NSAIDs may cause adverse health effects, according to a
January 2008 study from Duke University.
Whether it’s a pounding headache, post-workout muscle soreness or back pain, there’s a growing array of over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics to relieve your “ouch.” Plus, new and improved formulations make them easier to swallow, more targeted and faster to take effect. To get the straight goods on what remedy works best for different types of pain, Best Health spoke to three pain-relief pros: Warren Meek, president-elect of the Canadian Pharmacists Association and a community pharmacist in Halifax; Dr. Kymm Feldman, a family physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto; and Dr. Brian Knight, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist in Edmonton.